Mike McPhee: Living The Drumming Dream

Mike McPhee
Equipment: Yamaha drums; Murat Diril, Zildjian K, and Wuhan cymbals; Evans heads; PureSound snare wires; and Johnny Rabb drum sticks.
Contact: absolutedrummer.com; myspace.com/mikesdrumpage

There are drummers who can really blaze when they sit down at a display kit at Guitar Center, but you’ll never know their name. Then there are drummers like Mike McPhee who may not show off when given the opportunity, but who you owe it to yourself to pay attention to. The Long Island—based working musician plays drums in Ionia, does session work, and teaches in his home studio. His video lessons delve into stuff like quintuplet grooves – not only breaking them down into their constituent parts but also adding spice like a backbeat on 2 and 5, creating a 1, 3 ostinato on the hi-hat, and other ways of making a technical approach really swing. Teaching, performing, playing drum festivals, shedding late into the night – McPhee is exemplary of the hard work it takes to make a living at drumming. Of course, it helps to be as obsessed as he is.